The Impact of Divorce on Mental and Physical Health

When navigating a life-altering event such as a divorce, most individuals experience a series of physical, psychological, and emotional changes that can have a dramatic impact on overall health. According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce is the second most stressful life event many of us face, only coming in behind the death of a spouse. Additional stressors such as losing full child custody and financial strain from child support and alimony all may play a part in the manifestation of health issues as well.

Today, our Union County divorce and family law attorney will be discussing some health risks that can impact the minds and bodies of those going through a divorce. If you or a loved one are braving the divorce process without legal representation, call our office today for a confidential consultation with a member of our qualified legal team.

Union County, NJ Health During Divorce Attorney Identifies Psychological Effects of Divorce

As the song says, breaking up is hard to do. When a separation also involves the severing of a life-long commitment, losing your family home, and children, it almost goes without saying that there will be a significant impact on the mental state of everyone involved. Here are some of the most common psychological issues experienced by those going through a divorce or recently divorced.

Anxiety and Depression – while anxiety and depression are often chronic illnesses, they can also be brought on by sudden life events. When brain chemistry is rapidly changed, individuals are susceptible to new psychological issues including generalized anxiety, panic attacks, depression, OCD, and more. With the right treatment, all of these mental health issues are treatable and often temporary for those experiencing high levels of stress.

Substance Abuse – alcohol and other drugs are used by many to temporarily dull the pain of divorce. Self-medicating is a short term solution that can lead to serious long term health problems.

Grief – The five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargain, depression, and acceptance, are natural for divorcing parties. After all, you are losing a part of your life. That loss may ultimately be a positive one, but the process of understanding and adjusting to this change can be difficult.

Westfield Health and Well Being Lawyer Discusses Divorce’s Impact on Physical Health

In addition to common mental changes, physical health can also see a significant shift when going through a divorce. Some health concerns to be aware of include:

Heart Disease – The stress hormones related to divorce can directly lead to an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular concerns. This can be tied to changes in blood pressure, blood sugar, inflammation, and as a secondary effect of poor health decisions such as over-eating or substance abuse.

Dramatic Weight Loss or Gain – an often encountered affect of divorce or other stressful life events is rapid weight fluctuation. This is due to both the change in body chemistry from stress and behavioral changes including comfort eating or loss of appetite.

Insomnia – Sleep issues can have a profound impact on overall health, mental sharpness, and mood. Similar to problems with overeating of lack of appetite, sleep patterns can easily be disrupted by a sudden life change.

All of this can sound pretty scary and negative, but there is good news as well. For most adults, the growing pains of the divorce process do ultimately lead to improved mental and physical health. This turning point for many individuals is around the two-year mark. That may seem like an eternity, but seeking help and keeping good health habits in the interim can make the recovery process less painful.

 Contact a Linden Divorce Health and Wellness Attorney Today

Divorce attorney Edward S. Cooper has assisted clients going through the divorce process since 1989 in local New Jersey communities including Linden, Plainfield, Elizabeth, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Union, and all of Union County. Our firm believes in treating clients with the respect and compassion they deserve when navigating such a stressful and life-altering time. Attorney Cooper takes pride in understanding the unique needs and concerns of each client, and offering personalized legal service which will best suit the situation.

If you or a loved one is in any stage of the divorce process, contact us online or through our Linden offices by calling (908) 481-4625 today for a confidential consultation concerning your divorce and any related family law concerns.